Stuff To Read: Why I’m Finally Going To Say Something Nice About Warren Leight

Music ‘One Day At A Time’ by The Knack

I know I bag on Warren Leight and the current crop of LO:CI writers pretty savagely and constantly lament the departure of Rene Balcer and his writing staff from LO:CI as a major turning point in the quality of my beloved show.

But I’ve got to hand it to Warren for really respecting the picket line and the WGA strike (even though it looks like once we hit the 11th episode of LO:CI this season a whole bunch of us are going to be jonesing for new Goren or Logan episodes).

As an intellectual property attorney who has seen the evil a ‘current or future media’ clause can visit upon an artist (this overreaching clause came from the music divisions of entertainment conglomerates and I saw more than a few artists suffer from not grasping its implications to their bottom lines), I say to the writers at LO:CI for goodness sake, strike hard against perpetual indentured servitude the MegaMediaCorporations(TM) Inc. want to imprison you in and all y’all deserve some revenue from the Internet downloading, the cell phone downloading as well as more than a pathetic four cents per DVD.

For the fans who are going to be going into withdrawal well may I remind them that back in 2001 the first season of LO:CI was delayed due to 9/11 and then all through the winter of 2002 we had to wait many many weeks to see new LO:CI episodes because of the nuisance of preemption by the 2002 Winter Olympics? Thanks to FOX syndication reruns, Bravo reruns, the first 3 seasons of LO:CI on DVD, Amazon downloads, plus whatever marathons USA Network chooses to run etc, well you won’t have to suffer as much as we dinosaur days fans did. You’ll live…trust me. Just take the hiatus one day at a time

Oh and huge kudos are going out to the LA Times for their WGA strike coverage and this article.

Warren Leight is grappling with his dual roles on LO:CI

“Grappling with his dual roles”
— Matea Gold LA Times Blog

“Warren Leight, executive producer and showrunner of USA’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” was wrestling with an issue facing many of his fellow showrunners on the picket line: how to juggle his competing duties as a writer and producer.

Last night, he finished one last tweak on the 10th episode of “Criminal Intent” and faxed it in right before the strike deadline. The script for Episode 11 is also done and will probably go into production before Thanksgiving. Though Leight won’t write another word until the strike is over, he may get called on for his input on editing and other responsibilities he has as a showrunner.

“I’m trying to figure it out,” said Leight, who says he won’t cross the picket line. “I think that’s a hugely complicated issue. I have to play every situation by ear. A lot of showrunners are grappling with that.”

Leight feels strongly that the writers were forced to strike. “They made us an offer we had to refuse,” he said of the studios. “My sense is they wanted it to come to this.

“In a sense, they managed to do the impossible: They brought writers together,” he added. “Look, it’s an ornery group. But we know what the stakes are. There’s remarkable unity between the guilds on both coasts, which has never been the case, and across different echelons of the guild. It’s unfortunate it’s come to this, but they’ve managed to create more unity in the writers guild than we’ve been able to do on our own in 30 years.”

Unlike the 1988 strike, this stoppage comes down to one clear issue for most writers, Leight said: “They know if they don’t stand up now out here, there will be no residuals in five to 10 years. It’s a one-issue strike.” ”

I don’t know how else I can support the striking writers except to say so right here on The Vault’s homepage and to maybe go rewatch VDO’s rants as the writer David Kahane in ‘The Player’ for inspiration (and ignoring the conclusion of the film). In real life the weasels of MegaMediaCorporations(TM) Inc. don’t always have to win.

If somebody wants to hook me up with a WGA T-shirt or a strike sign I’d happily accept them :)